An Assessment of Factors Affecting Participation of Women in the Palestinians Governmental Managerial Positions
y: Abeer A. A. Ismail
Women face multi-faceted challenges to participate in management position due to different factors.
Women constitute half of the Palestinians population. Thus, any political, economic and social activity that doesn’t involve and benefit women cannot be fruitful because such an activity is based on half the manpower, half the knowledge, half the effort, etc…of that which is available in the country.
In Palestine, as women are the fifty percent of the population, it is very important to utilize this part of population so that the talent of whole population is optimally utilized.
- According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on March 8, 2020 , the participation rate of women in the workforce reached 18% of the total women of working age in 2019, which is the same percentage in 2015, knowing that the participation rate of men in the workforce reached 70% in 2019, which is the same percentage in 2015. With a clear gap in the average daily wage between women and men, as the average daily wage for women reached 98 shekels compared to 102 shekels for men.
- The unemployment rate among women participating in the workforce was 41% compared to 21% among men in 2019, knowing that the unemployment rate among young graduates with an intermediate diploma degree or higher amounted to 52%, 68% for females compared to 35% for males.
- According to the data for the year 2019, the participation of women in decision-making positions is still limited compared to men, as the data showed that 5% of the members of the Central Council, 11% of the members of the National Council, 14% of the members of the Council of Ministers are women, and 11% the proportion of active ambassadors In the diplomatic corps, there is also one woman who occupies the position of governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate from 16 governorates.
- According to the data of the General Personnel Bureau until February 2020, the rate of women’s participation in the civil sector reached 44% of the total public sector employees, and the gap is embodied when talking about those who hold the degree of general manager and above, as it reached 13% for women compared to 87% for men.
Factors that hinder women’s participation
- The Israeli occupation constitutes the main obstacle from achieving the development of Palestinian women and providing them human security, as a result of its continuing oppressive practices and violations of all components of the Palestinians, and of its natural resources beside its right of self-determination, which results in the double burden on women and the loss of many of their economic and social rights.
- Despite the amendments that were made in 2018, the package of legislation that directly affects women still needs a comprehensive process of change commensurate with the aspirations of the State of Palestine, which has acceded to many international agreements and conventions, such as the CEDAW Agreement. The fact that the Personal Status Law includes the Jordanian limit in the West Bank, and the Family Provisions Law in the Gaza Strip, have distinct legal provisions against women, in addition to that it does not deal with the family as a homogeneous social unit based on the principle of partnership and equality.
- The government show less attention in increasing the financial resources and allocations necessary to promote women’s equality and end their exclusion and marginalization in economic, political, social and cultural activities. Most development projects are funded externally away from the main budget program.
- Social traditions and beliefs : The basis for differences between the lives of men and women lies in the traditional patriarchy of Palestine which remains supported by traditions and culture as well as gender differentials in access, participation and service provision across the educational, legal, health and economic sectors.
How to enhance women’s participation ?
- The necessity of excluding the budgets allocated for important and vulnerable groups from any plans to rationalize expenditures or any austerity procedures, because the reversal of these plans, if completed, will inevitably lead to a violation of the rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups that represent women as one of its components, which is not consistent with the obligations of the State of Palestine under The United Nations human rights conventions, especially the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
- Take appropriate measures and policies to enhance women’s participation in the labor market, ensure that women workers enjoy the legal rights contained in the labor law, and enhance their political participation in various areas and decision-making positions.
- Developing the legislative system in line with the needs and aspirations of Palestinian women, and in line with the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
- Imposing penalties for gender discrimination in jobs, and enact a law to combat sexual harassment in the workplace
- Contribution to stimulate the private sector to employ women, and provide job opportunities with part time
- Valuation a woman’s reproductive work as a productive and paid work by the government.
- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
- (Ashtia, 2012) :” The experience of Palestinian women in parliamentary work and its impact on promoting political participation (1996-2009)”
- ( Qutb, 2012) “The role of women in decision-making in Palestinian government institutions (1995-2010)”
- (El Baz, 2011) “Obstacles to the exercise of the legal role of female staff of the Gaza Office of the International Relief Agency (UNRWA)”
- (Al-Araj ,2009)” Obstacles that face Arab Women with Leading Positions in the Field of Sport in the Asian Arab Countries”
- (Jaber, 2005) “Difficulties faced Palestinian women working in the public sector in the northern West Bank”
- (Lahti, 2013) “Women and leadership: Factors that influence women’s career”